What’s it like cooking in a van?

“What’s your food situation?”, is probably one of the most common questions I get when I connect with people from home. Long story short, it’s pretty awesome.

The longer story is that it turns out we can make almost anything we would eat at home while we’re camping. When we first hit the road, we took the camping thing to heart and mostly ate burgers and hot dogs, but now we’re actually eating really well.

We decided to get a two-burner camping stove, which seems to be the best option for our set up. We don’t really need more than this, and having two burners allows us to cook everything we need for a meal at one time. Ours runs on propane, which is easy to get at most stores (we’ve been using the mini Coleman tanks, but are considering getting a bigger tank to be more cost-effective).

Something else that’s been useful is one of our prizes that we won in the Midwest Vanlife Gathering raffle. It’s called a Grub Stick, and it lets you toast sandwiches, bagels, etc. over the campfire (it also has a marshmallow attachment). I can see this being a great option for backpacking trips if we want to have a hot meal while hiking.

Our van currently doesn’t have a vent fan, so all of our cooking has to be done outside for now (because safety) which has been great so far, and not really an obstacle. A few campsites we’ve been to have had picnic tables, but for the ones that don’t, we have a folding table we set up to put the stove on. When we’re at a campsite we usually have our easy-up set up, so even if it’s raining we can still make food. This also means we get a great view while cooking! We’ve only been in a few situations where inside cooking would have been the best option, and in that case it’s been cereal for breakfast. If there’s anything I miss, it’s definitely a dishwasher, but otherwise we’ve got a great set up! Thanks for reading 🙂

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